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End of an era: Inner City closing as of March 31
After more than 30 years of service to street-involved and homeless youth, YouthLink's Inner City Drop-In and Resource Centre will be closing at the end of March. The pre-employment program Youth Skills Zone closed in December last year.
Inner City and Youth Skills Zone have been an important part of the landscape in the downtown core in serving street-involved youth. These downtown services have a long and proud history of helping countless youth over the past 30 years to move forward into a life of new hope and possibility. The drop-in with its many resources provided a safe place where street youth could rebuild their trust in people and find services that would help them.
Recognizing this important role made it all the more difficult for YouthLink, faced with funding deficits and growing demands on every front, to announce in January 2011 that the agency could no longer offer these services. It was only after months of deliberation, that the Board of Directors determined that YouthLink was truly stretched beyond capacity and that the best course of action for the agency would be to strengthen our services in Scarborough where we had relocated our head office in 2005.
However, we committed at the time to make every effort to work with our funders to transfer the inner city services to another agency. Over the past year, our staff have committed to achieving this goal. While the process has taken longer than we anticipated, we remain optimistic about the outcome. Currently, the City is reviewing responses to the RFP circulated regarding service provision and will be making an announcement this month.
We are hopeful that these services, so greatly needed by street-involved youth, will continue to be offered by another agency that shares the spirit and commitment of the staff at Inner City.
An open house and closing celebration will take place at Inner City on Thursday, March 8th from 4 - 7pm where we will recognize the dedicated efforts of our staff, the achievements of youth participants, our funders and the long-standing support from our community partners including: